Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Construction of Lansing-Reilly

One of the first buildings erected on the McNichols campus was Lansing-Reilly Hall, but that was not the first name of the building. At first it was simply the “Faculty Building” since that was the residence for the Jesuit faculty on campus. It was later christen McNichols Hall in 1951, in honor of Fr. John P. McNichols, who was president of the University during the 1924-28 building program. The name “McNichols Hall” actually started much earlier. There are various stories...

Lessons in Lovemaking

Got you attention? Would you believe this was the headline of some articles in the Varsity News in 1930 – actually it was a three part series! How about if I told you it also included pictures. Well be prepared to be disappointed. The Varsity News from May 7 to May 21, 1930, ran a series of articles that had that title, but how to describe what it actually is about is a problem. It does not seem to be...

Education – 1851

History has a way of collapsing time.  It moves along a social timeline from major event to major event and the small steps that occurred to the human beings involved in the day to day struggle between those events are often overlooked.  We see for example the settling of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 (and the African slaves who were included in this), the Civil War in 1861, and the emancipation of slaves in 1863. We’re told that slavery had a...

“Southside View of Slavery”

A documentary on Public Television (PBS) called The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross offers an excellent overview of slavery in the United States from its early beginnings in the 1500s to its final end in 1865.  This view aligns closely with the history recorded in the Black Abolitionist Archive’s editorials and speeches.  Slavery wasn’t anything new when this country was first established.  What WAS new, however, was the notion of “who” slaves were and how this tied in with...

Love and Freedom

Love and Freedom This month we celebrate two of the most valued aspects of human existence: love and freedom.  Valentine’s Day (observed in remembrance of St. Valentine) focuses our collective attention on romantic love.  We traditionally celebrate this holiday on February 14, by offering those dearest to us acts of love and devotion usually in the form of something sweet and beautiful: candy, flowers, poetry, sentimental cards, etc. February is also Black History Month.  This month is filled with events...

Black Abolitionist Archive – the Canadian connection

Communication holds together the people within a defined social structure.  Slavery as a social institution in the early years of this country, kept people isolated.  The practice of using human beings as chattel was brought to the Americas as a matter of course in the early years of its colonizing.  At that time, no one seemed to pay much attention to the idea that there was something very wrong with this practice.  Soon, however, communication in the form of abolitionist...

1908 Construction of the Old Gym

Every once in a while, I come across things that have not seen the light of day in probably a hundred years. Nobody here  knows about it and maybe nobody cares. But back in 1908, somebody cared enough to take a picture and that should count for something. It’s not like today when just about anyone with a cell phone will take a picture of anything and probably should NOT take a picture at all of somethings! The following pictures...

University of Detroit Gun Club

Back in the late 1940′s, the University of Detroit had a Gun Club. It was originally founded in 1937, but it was discontinued until after the war in 1948. Understanding the fine points of marksmanship and the mechanics of a wide variety of firearms was the primary aim of the club. The 1949 Titan rifle team would participate in competition with other schools. ” In these matches the teams fire from four positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and offhand. Five men...

The Inauguration of a University President

While the world will be watching as the United States inaugurates Donald Trump as the President of the United States, I thought I would take a moment to review what went on when the University of Detroit Mercy inaugurated its most recent president, Antoine Garibaldi in 2012. Family, friends, faculty, board of trustees, alumni and all the local dignitaries came together to celebrate the university’s heritage and reaffirm its mission to the community. It turned out to be a very...

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